Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Spot the Signs

Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Spot the Signs

By Erika Ortiz

Abuse of any kind must never be tolerated. Whether it is from your boss, spouse, family member, or friend, it should not be taken lightly and must be acted upon quickly before it can escalate to serious issues. However, some forms of abuse are difficult to distinguish and can be especially hard to come to terms with when the abuser is a significant other such as a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. Physical abuse is a well-known form of abuse; however, emotional abuse has a subtle component, making it very tricky to catch. Here are some signs that you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

Controlling and manipulative- Your partner may make you feel bad for going out or give you a curfew when you’re out with friends.

Gaslighting- Your partner can make you believe points in their arguments or things you have “said” that never happened.

Humiliation and embarrassment- They may insult you, make fun, and make you feel bad about yourself in front of others.

Silent treatment/Stonewalling- After an argument, they may “shut down” to make you feel abandoned and cut communication.

Threats- They may flat-out threaten you in any way, shape, or form possible.

There is quite a lengthy list of signs of emotional abuse. However, it is crucial to be proactive and seek help. These issues can cause or result in depression, anxiety, suicide, and PTSD. It can even lead to physical abuse if it hasn’t already occurred. Please seek professional help immediately if you see any signs of abuse or feel unsafe or unwell.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an emotionally abusive relationship or signs of it, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

 Sources

https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/signs-emotionally-abusive-relationship

https://www.healthline.com/health/signs-of-mental-abuse#control-and-shame

Social Anxiety & Low Self Esteem: How They Are Related

Social Anxiety & Low Self Esteem: How They Are Related

By: Brianna Richardson

What is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia), is an anxiety disorder in which a person feels intense worry when socializing with others. People who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder often worry about being judged, humiliated and/or rejected by others in social situations. There are many factors that influence socially anxious behavior, one of them being low self-esteem.

What is Low Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the introspective beliefs about one’s own capabilities, value, and personal worth. Self-esteem exists on a spectrum that ranges from high to low. When an individual has low self-esteem, he or she has little to no confidence in their personal worth, value, and/or capabilities.

            Low self-esteem presents itself in thought patterns known as negative self-talk.

            Here are some examples…

                        ‘Don’t say anything. It’s probably going to come off weird, and you’ll embarrass yourself in front of everyone.’

                        ‘I’m not as funny as everyone else here. They probably don’t think I belong here, maybe I should just leave? But what if that makes them think I’m rude? I don’t know what to do…’

                        This person is experiencing low self-esteem, ‘I’m going to come off weird’; ‘I’m not as funny’, which is influencing their social behavior.

Other Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:

  • Fear of saying or doing something wrong.
  • Lack of understanding social cues. (overthinking social cues)
  • Intense worry about being perceived as weird, awkward, or (unintentionally) rude.

If you or someone you know is experiencing social anxiety or low self-esteem please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353561

HIV/AIDS: Risk for Mental Disorders

By: Shameen Joshi

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that can lead to AIDS; it can be transmitted through various ways such as sexual intercourse, sharing syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS, or through pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. HIV lowers the white blood cell count which is vital for our ability to fight off infections and other diseases. People living with HIV/AIDS may be more susceptible to other infections or diseases. The stress that is caused by the disease can affect the individual’s mental health as they are at a higher risk of developing mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders. Situations that may contribute to the mental health of the individual include:

  • Having issues getting mental health services
  • Loss of social support resulting in isolation
  • Experiencing loss of employment or stress about being able to perform at work
  • Spreading the news about their HIV diagnosis
  • Incorporating their life with treatment for the virus such as using medicine and medical treatment
  • Facing stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS

HIV can also affect the individual’s brain and nervous system causing a change in how the person behaves and thinks. The individual also may have side effects from the medications they are taking.  HIV treatment usually includes a combination of medicines called antiretroviral therapy (ART) which should begin as early as possible during the diagnosis. Understanding the psychological and physiological effects of HIV/AIDS gives the caretaker as well as the individual more information on how to properly care for the diagnosis and it can also provide awareness on the mental health issues that accompany HIV/AIDS.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for depression and/or addiction, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Stress: Managing Work Related Stress

Stress: Managing Work Related Stress

By: Julissa Acebo

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work related stress as: “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure of work or other types of demands placed on them.” While stress at work is common, you’re not powerless to the effects. Effectively coping with job stress can benefit your professional and personal life.


Psychological symptoms include, but are not limited to: Irritability or outbursts of anger, low productivity accompanied by feelings of low achievement, and low mood.


Physical symptoms include, but are not limited to: Headaches and/or backaches, insomnia or loss of sleep leading to tiredness, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, and regular or lingering colds.


Managing Work Stress Tips:

  1. Identify stress triggers
    • For at least a week record the situations, events and people who cause you to have a negative physical, mental or emotional response
    • For example, you might notice persistent causes of stress such as a long commute or an uncomfortable workspace
  2. Improve time management skills
    • Create a daily schedule and stick with it
    • Avoid the urge to multitask
  3. Know when to step back and take a break (don’t overwork yourself)
    • To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning
  4. Set boundaries
    • Set boundaries between work and your personal life (i.e., not checking email in the evenings or weekends)

If you or someone you know is experiencing Work Related Stress please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Sources:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/coping-with-stress/art-20048369
https://www.apa.org/topics/healthy-workplaces/work-stress

Hypnotherapy: What is it?

Hypnotherapy: What is it?

By Emily Ferrer

Hypnotherapy helps clients gain control over unfavorable behaviors, cope with anxiety or pain, or alter their ideas about a certain idea or image. Hypnosis involves a trained psychologist and entails placing the patient into a trance-like state that can make you feel extremely calm, focused, and open to suggestions[1]. Over many years, hypnosis has been found to help many people with issues such as pain control, chemotherapy, hot flashes, behavioral changes, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), addiction, weight loss, and more[2]! In fact, a study done in 1970 found that hypnotherapy has a 93% success rate in less sessions compared to other forms of therapy[3]. The average amount of hypnotherapy sessions needed to see results can be as little as 4 and as much as 15[4]. This is much less than the average number of sessions needed for other forms of therapy, which are usually around 20 or more until you start to see results[5].

You are probably curious what exactly to expect in a hypnotherapy session and how to prepare. There is no preparation needed on your end before your first hypnotherapy session other than an open mind and a willingness to change your behaviors or ideas. The first session will usually not involve any hypnotism, however, the therapist may use this session as an opportunity to get to know you, the problems you are facing, and what you want to change. The second session is usually when your hypnotherapy begins. Your therapist will always explain the process to you and begin by talking in a soothing and gentle voice. The therapist may also start to describe very vivid images to you to create a sense of relaxation and security. Once you are in a relaxed state, your therapist may begin suggesting ways to work towards your goal that you wanted to work on, such as fear, pain, addiction, anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc. This will help you visualize your path to success and believe in your ability to accomplish your goals[6]. Eventually, your therapist will guide you out of your state of relaxation and the hypnosis session will end. Hypnosis can be extremely helpful to those it does work for but suicide/suicidal thoughts is not guaranteed.

If you or someone you know is interested in trying hypnotherapy, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists certified in hypnotherapy at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .


Sources:

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hypnosis/about/pac-20394405#:~:text=Hypnosis%2C%20also%20referred%20to%20as,verbal%20repetition%20and%20mental%20images.

[2] https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/january/hypnosis

[3] Barrios, A. A. (1970). Hypnotherapy: A reappraisal. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 7(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0086544

[4] https://thehypnosisclinic.com/blog/how-many-sessions-do-i-need/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610#:~:text=Length%20of%20therapy,Type%20of%20disorder%20or%20situation

[6] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/hypnosis/about/pac-20394405#:~:text=Hypnosis%2C%20also%20referred%20to%20as,verbal%20repetition%20and%20mental%20images.

Grief: When to Seek Grief Counseling

Grief: When to Seek Grief Counseling

By: Julissa Acebo


The five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) are normal. When grief becomes unbearable, therapy can help ease the pain and help you progress.


10 signs that indicate you should seek grief counseling:

  1. You’re having suicidal thoughts and/or persistent feelings of depression.
  2. You’re experiencing ongoing symptoms of distress, such as crying, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased irritability, anger, and panic attacks.
  3. Struggling to complete everyday tasks, including basic self-care.
  4. You frequent familiar places, hoping to see your departed loved one there, or avoid locations and situations that may remind you of your loss.
  5. You’re abusing substances like alcohol or drugs, or engaging in addictive behaviors, like gambling.
  6. You’re withdrawn and avoiding social interaction.
  7. You have no support system.
  8. You’re feeling bereavement guilt, possibly blaming yourself for your loved one’s death or grappling with regret about your relationship with the deceased.
  9. You’ve “moved on” a little too well.
  10. Grief interferes with your work.

How grief counseling can help:

  • Allows you to express your emotions
  • Help you address any feelings of guilt you may harbor
  • Help you come to terms with your new reality
  • Help you deal with your trauma

If you or someone you know is experiencing Unbearable Grief please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Sources:
https://www.psycom.net/stages-of-grief

https://www.gwic.com/Education-Center/Grief-Support/13-signs-you-should-seek-grief-counseling

Dissociation: Depersonalization vs. Derealization

Dissociation: Depersonalization vs. Derealization

By: Brianna Richardson

What is Dissociation?

Dissociation is an involuntary mental response in which an individual becomes disconnected from themselves and/or their surroundings. Dissociation occurs in times of intense worry (panic) or trauma and is a symptom of many mental health disorders, such as, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.

There are two types of dissociation a person may experience, depersonalization and/or derealization.

Depersonalization vs. Derealization

Depersonalization and derealization are associated with our bodies fight or flight response. In situations of high anxiety, it is our human instinct to ‘fight’ (fight against the high anxiety situation), or ‘flight’ (flee the high anxiety situation). But in situations of intense worry where a person cannot fight or flee, our body responds by dissociating (depersonalization and/or derealization). Dissociation works to distort experiences of high anxiety or trauma as a means of coping with the situation. It distorts these experiences in following two ways…

            Depersonalization is more introspective than derealization, in the sense that it detaches an individual from themselves. People who experience depersonalization often describe, ‘not feeling real’, or feel as if their memories don’t belong to them.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Observing yourself in third person (like floating outside of or looking down at yourself).
  • Body Distortions (limbs feel like they don’t belong to you, limbs look too big or too small).
  • Emotional and physical numbness.

            Derealization is more exteroceptive than depersonalization, in the sense that it detaches the individual from the outside world. People who experience derealization often describe, ‘feeling like life isn’t real’, or that ‘life feels like a movie or a dream”.

Other Symptoms Include:

  • Life feeling like a simulation (life feels unreal, foggy or dream-like)
  • Visual distortions (tunnel vision, altered distance, etc.)
  • Time distortions (time feels to slow or fast)
  • Audio distortions (sounds are too loud or too soft)

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of derealization or depersonalization please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Sources:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/dissociation-and-dissociative-disorders/about-dissociation/#:~:text=Dissociation%20is%20one%20way%20the,may%20develop%20a%20dissociative%20disorder.

Eating Disorders: How To Catch Them in Your Loved Ones

Eating Disorders: How To Catch Them in Your Loved Ones

By Emily Ferrer

Eating disorders are characterized by severe and persistent troubles related to eating behaviors, food, and weight[1]. There are many different types of eating disorders; however, the most common are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Nine percent of the entire population suffers from an eating disorder and 10,200 deaths are recorded each year due to an eating disorder[2]. After reading about how common they are, I am sure you are wondering, “How do I know if I or someone I know has an eating disorder?” There are many signs and symptoms associated with eating disorders[3]:

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone weakness
  • Amenorrhea
  • Brittle hair/nails
  • Always feeling cold
  • Obsession with food
  • Depression

Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Frequent trips to the bathroom after a meal
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Dental decay
  • Laxative/diuretic misuse
  • Large amounts of food disappearing
  • Fainting from excessive purging

Binge-Eating Disorder:

  • Weight gain
  • Eating very rapidly
  • Eating until very full
  • Eating even when not hungry
  • Hiding large amounts of food
  • Eating alone on purpose
  • Feeling guilty after eating large amounts of food

Eating disorders can be extremely serious if not treated. It is important to stay informed about the signs and symptoms of different eating disorders so you can find help for you or someone you know as soon as possible. Other general signs of eating disorders to look out for are a sudden obsession with food (cooking it, eating it, watching cooking shows/videos), social withdrawal, drastic changes in mood, new attitudes towards food, new dieting habits, self-harm, excessive exercise, obsession with calorie and step count, repeatedly weighing themselves, and body dysmorphia[4]

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com


Sources:

[1] https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders

[2] https://anad.org/eating-disorders-statistics/

[3] https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders

[4] https://www.lifeworkscommunity.com/eating-disorders-treatment/how-to-recognise-the-early-signs-of-an-eating-disorder

Body Dysmorphia: How TikTok Impacts Self Image

Body Dysmorphia: How TikTok Impacts Self Image

By Erika Ortiz

            A new social media app called TikTok emerged and swept generations because of its easy use, likability, and relatability created by other users or creators. TikTok is used like a break from stressors in life since it can have a variety of entertaining and funny videos. The TikTok algorithm determines your perception and how you choose to “respond” to each video or comment you see and scroll past. TikTok has tons of videos, from cute cat videos to funny skits, serious world news, and even tips or “how to” for your everyday life. Since TikTok has gained massive popularity, it can be strikingly influential.  TikTok can also instill some negativity in your life.  Many videos go viral for the wrong reasons and are taken to a dangerous extremity. One type of TikTok video that always goes viral is known as, “What I eat in a day”. The creator documents all their meals throughout the day and some even calculate their calorie intake. Some creators claim it is to promote a “healthy lifestyle”, while others say it is solely because these types of videos happen to go viral and do well with their audience. Regardless, these kinds of videos seem to inflict the idea of having body dysmorphia or, ironically enough, an unhealthy eating style. Body dysmorphia or body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition in which people hyper-focus on their flaws and appearances to the point where they will never be “good enough” in their own eyes. Some of these videos show the over consumption of food, too few nutrients in each meal, or sometimes, too much food, and too much sugar and/or greasy foods. These videos have an alarming comment section. Users will comment something to the degree of, “Wow I eat too much”, or, “Maybe I should skip a meal or two.” As you scroll through these TikToks and come across a “What I eat in a day” or a video that promotes an unhealthy body image that makes you feel uncomfortable and/or negative about yourself, press report for “harmful activities”, then press the “not interested” option at the bottom right. Even if you do not necessarily feel that way, others still might, so it is best to do your part in preventing the spread or glorification of unhealthy lifestyles.

If you or someone you know is experiencing body dysmorphia and/or signs of an eating disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com

Intergenerational Trauma: What is it?

Intergenerational Trauma: What is it?

By Erika Ortiz

            Intergenerational trauma is a term used to describe the difficulties or challenges a family has experienced for generations. Intergenerational trauma can inflict negative feelings and experiences through either an individual or the family as a whole. It usually starts with one family member who has had a traumatic experience. The family members then goes on to either repeat the action that traumatized them or project their feelings onto family members, continuing the cycle of trauma. Historical trauma can catalyze intergenerational trauma. For example, a great-grandmother survived the Holocaust; however, she now behaves in a very reserved and cold manner, so she struggles to express emotions such as love and compassion. Since she raised her children in such a manner, they may grow and have children and display that same type of avoidant relationship. Another example can be that a mother was sexually abused when she was younger, her daughter was also sexually abused, and her granddaughter suffered from that experience. The individual who suffers the trauma can pass down and then project the feelings that were felt at the time of the incident. Since they most likely did not receive the proper care and treatment to manage the mental health issues that they were experiencing, they relayed that same traumatic feeling to the next generation of their family. Hence, it is critical to seek professional help. Here are some ways to cope/deal with inter-generational trauma:

  • Break the cycle- interrupt and prevent the repetition of trauma
  • Hear each other out- although this can be difficult, listening is key to fixing
  • Get the professionals involved- the best way to cope with any mental health issue or fragmented relationship is to get a qualified professional’s help


Source:

https://www.choosingtherapy.com/intergenerational-trauma/

If you or someone you know is experiencing intergenerational trauma or other traumas, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com